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Old 12-31-2007, 04:07 AM   #16
Peter Goldsbury
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Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 5

Hello Doug,

I train in a relative backwater, here in Hiroshima, well outside the glare of the bright lights of the Tokyo Hombu. One of the nice things I have found here is the importance of the tatemae/honne distinction in daily activities, which extend well beyond the confines of the dojo. Aikido-wise, everyone turns out for an 'imperial state visit' from the Hombu, and then quietly goes back to the older forms of training.

I think that Kisshomaru Ueshiba understood this clearly and ran the Aikikai as an association of primi inter pares, composed of all the people who would accept his role as Doshu. He discharged this role brilliantly, given the situation he inherited, but he realized, far more than his father ever did, the importance of communication.

O Sensei's discourses actively challenge the reader/hearer to discover what on earth he is talking about and it is a pity that they have been translated into English so 'unimaginatively'.

(I have no intention of attacking John Stevens here, by the way, since he has stuck his neck out and done an admirable job of making translations as accessible as possible to a reader who has no clue as to their cultural context. I can well imagine the choices he had to make. By training I am a classicist, used to analyzing texts written in ancient Greek and O Sensei's discourses bear comparison with anything that Heraclitus or Parmenides are alleged to have written.)

In a future column I plan to analyze the contents of the two books that Kisshomaru Ueshiba wrote, soon after the war. They are Aikido and Aikido Giho and they give a clear indication of what Kisshomaru was doling at the time. They are worlds apart from anything written by O Sensei and also from the Shirata tapes, but Shirata Sensei had no problems with accepting the tatemae of Kisshomaru's direction of the Aikikai and confining his aikido studies to his own confines in the Tohoku region.

I think this is a good illustration of the power of the iemoto model.

All good wishes for 2008,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 12-31-2007 at 04:11 AM.

P A Goldsbury
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